While 93% of properties in Northumberland are able to access superfast broadband services (defined as speeds of 30 Mbps or above), less than 2% of properties in the county currently have access to ultrafast broadband services (defined as speeds over 100 Mbps).*

In most cases ultrafast broadband services are delivered using full fibre – i.e. a fibre connection directly to the home or business premise, rather than relying on copper, aluminium or coaxial cable for the last part of the connection.

* Data taken from ThinkBroadband (June 2018)

Openreach – Fibre to the Premise

The majority of ultrafast broadband services in Northumberland are delivered by Openreach using its ‘Fibre to the Premise’ (FTTP) technology.

FTTP is one of the world’s most cutting edge types of fibre broadband and is now capable of speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps (or 1 Gbps).

Above ground fibre equipment

In many cases the fibre equipment is located underground, but in some cases you may see small green boxes on telegraph poles (see photo) this is a clue that ultrafast broadband services are available in your area.

Although FTTP technology is capable of speeds of up to 1 Gbps, most users currently opt for slower packages such as 40 Mbps or 80 Mbps. The fastest packages typically available at present are 300 Mbps.

One of the key features of full fibre is that distance from telephone exchanges or fibre cabinets is no longer an issue as speeds do not reduce over fibre. Therefore if you subscribe to an 80 Mbps service you should experience those speeds, rather than the ‘up to’ speeds typically quoted for some fibre packages.

Thanks to the iNorthumberland programme full fibre services are now available in some of the most rural parts of Northumberland. Many new build housing estates throughout the county are also able to access ultrafast broadband (for further details click here).

Nationally only around 3% of properties are able to access Openreach’s FTTP technology. As a result of this the process for ordering FTTP services does not always run smoothly. As a result we have received a number of enquiries from residents and businesses in FTTP areas who are having trouble ordering. Please follow the instructions on this page and feel free to get in touch if necessary.

To help to ensure you can order FTTP where it is available to your property, please follow these simple steps:

  1. Check your line to ensure you are in an FTTP enabled area and can order.
    a) Where the result shows “WBC FTTP” available move on to step 2 below.
    b) If the results for your line or address do not display “WBC FTTP” and you believe you are in an FTTP area please contact us for further information. Please note that “WBC FTTP” and “FTTP on Demand” are not the same product.The example below is what to expect when FTTP is available to your property. This shows ‘WBC FTTP’ available with download speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 220 Mbps. The ADSL products relate to the original copper network and in this example show a maximum speed of ‘up to 1 Mbps’.
  2. Check with your current provider to see if they offer an FTTP service in your area. If they do not, you will need to change supplier to take advantage of FTTP services. Let your supplier know  you would like to switch provider. Please be aware that not all broadband service providers offer an FTTP service. This is the choice of that particular service provider and not within the control of iNorthumberland.
  3. Make an order with your chosen provider that offers FTTP (see list below or further details are available at Openreach’s website). Please note that unfortunately in some FTTP areas the price comparison check located on our home page may incorrectly return a message saying fibre is unavailable.

Residential FTTP Service Providers

Business FTTP Service Providers

Please note this list of providers is subject to change.

Virgin Media 

In 2018 Virgin Media is rolling out its fibre network into Northumberland for the first time. Coverage will be limited to begin with, however we are working closely with Virgin Media to encourage them to expand their network in future years. To view Virgin’s latest offers click here or to register your interest if Virgin is not yet in your area click here.

Other Full Fibre Suppliers 

iNorthumberland and the wider County Council team are in discussions with a range of other fibre suppliers. Further details will be announced shortly.

Funding for Full Fibre

If full fibre services are not yet available in your area you may be interested in the Government’s Gigabit Voucher Scheme which could be used to fund the roll out of full fibre services to businesses and residential properties in your area.

Full fibre broadband connections offer the fastest and most reliable speeds available, and the government is committed to a vision of a full fibre Britain. As part of this commitment in March 2018 a £67 million Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme was announced.

Gigabit vouchers can be used by small and medium sized businesses and the local communities surrounding them to contribute to the installation cost of a gigabit capable connection.

Businesses can claim up to £3,000 against the cost of connection either individually or as part of a group project. Residents can benefit from the scheme as part of a group project which also includes businesses, and can claim for a voucher of up to a value of £500.

One gigabit is the same as 1,000 megabits – so it’s a big leap forward in connection speeds that could benefit you and your business into the future.

For full details about whether you are eligible for a voucher and to connect you to a full fibre broadband supplier, go to https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/

Availability Checker

We are currently experiencing issues with the post code checker on our website. For an up to date view on plans for your area please email us.

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